Salt in Syracuse that dug the canal
Syracuse is another city in the canal corridor that had an extremely beneficial relationship with the canal. Syracuse as a port on the canal was extremely important due to its location of halfway between Buffalo and Albany. This enabled it to have low shipping cost going either East or West and meant salt in particular could make it to the great lakes for relatively cheap. Making it to the Great Lakes meant the shipping capability beyond that point could even go international and reach many inland ports in Canada.
The salt industry was something that had been an economic staple to the city of Syracuse long before the completion of the canal. Salt internationally was difficult to obtain after the war of 1812 and therefore having a concentration of salt in Lake Onondaga was extremely lucrative for salt manufacturers.(Beck, 2018) Salt was a popular commodity in Chicago and further west, the canal made reaching western cities such as Chicago or Detroit extremely easy. The salt industry in Syracuse adapted to the construction of the Canal. Many workers in Syracuse would refer to the canal as “the ditch that salt dug” due to the effect the salt industry had on the debt payment of the canal. After the canal was finished the cost of transporting goods dropped causing the demand for salt to increase at a fever pitch.(Murphy, 1949) In 1836 an extremely small tax increase for bushels of salt led to eight million dollars of the Canal debt being paid off. This tax increase had been suggested by salt manufactures who knew the effect of a change of a couple cents would have on the annual freight tax collection of the canal. (Murphy, 1949)The cause and effect of the canal on the salt industry had its influence else where, the reduction of the price of salt led to a boom in the pork business as salting port required a large and readily available supply of salt, obviously the salt manufacture of Syracuse were more than happy to fill this need.
From the completion of the canal in 1825 onward for the next 20 years the city of Syracuse began to flourish in ways it hadn’t yet seen since its settlement. By the time of 1850 Syracuse had reached a population of over 22,000 a figure that is astonishing for the time and area, considering in the 1820s the population of Syracuse only numbered in the hundreds. Syracuse had debatable the most beneficial location on the canal and it showed in the way the Syracuse flourished and its two way street effect benefited the canal.